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Ivory Coast's ousted president charged with numerous crimes

Laurent Gbagbo and his wife have been charged with armed robbery, looting, embezzlement and more.

Laurent Gbagbo and his wife on 11 April when they were captured and arrested by forces loyal to the democratically-elected Alassane Ouattara
Laurent Gbagbo and his wife on 11 April when they were captured and arrested by forces loyal to the democratically-elected Alassane Ouattara

FORMER PRESIDENT OF the Ivory Coast, Laurent Gbagbo has been charged with a number of crimes, including armed robbery, embezzlement of public funds and looting.

According to Al Jazeera, the Ivory Coast charged Gbagbo’s wife Simone with similar crimes on Tuesday. The couple has been transferred from their home in the north of the country, where they were being detained under house arrest, to a jail in the town of Korhogo.

Associated Press reports the former strongman has also been charged with economic crimes. Trial dates for both of the accused are yet to be set.

These are the first charges to be brought against Gbagbo since he was ousted from power and arrested in April. A lawyer for the former leader said the move by public prosecutors was “illegal”.

Despite losing an election in November 2010, he had refused to cede power, which he had held since 2000. The country was then plunged into violence with Gbagbo supporters fighting those loyal to the newly-elected Alassane Ouattara.

Last week, Gbagbo’s son and 11 others were charged over post-election activities. They stand accused of attacking state security and backing the former president’s refusal to recognise the election result, according to Al Jazeera.

A total of 57 soldiers have also been charged with crimes, such as murder and kidnapping, allegedly committed from November 2010 to April 2011.

The democratically-elected Ouattara was eventually inaugurated on 21 May this year.

-Additional reporting by AP

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